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Training Wheels

Old 02-22-14, 04:28 PM
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Training Wheels

Do training wheels work?

I don't know from experience, I taught myself to ride without them. It seems to me that they just delay the inevitable need to learn to balance. Did anyone use them as a kid? How did you make the transition?
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Old 02-22-14, 04:47 PM
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I think they do "work" to prevent falls--but they probably don't help a kid learn to ride a bike.
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Old 02-22-14, 10:42 PM
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It's better to take off the pedals and use the bike like a balance bike to develop a sense of balance. Training wheels just teach you to pedal but not to balance. After getting balance, one can then put pedals back on.
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Old 02-22-14, 10:52 PM
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My own childhood experience, and watching my niece learn to ride a bike, tell me that training wheels actually slow the process down. Bikes are essentially a pair of gyroscopes, and training wheels just confound that innate realization.
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Old 02-23-14, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
My own childhood experience, and watching my niece learn to ride a bike, tell me that training wheels actually slow the process down. Bikes are essentially a pair of gyroscopes, and training wheels just confound that innate realization.
Right...once you're going fast enough, it's difficult to make the bike fall over. It's just difficult for novice riders to convince themselves of this reality.

So an adult runs alongside for moral support and, if needed, a push to get the little rider moving fast enough for physics to take over.
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Old 02-23-14, 12:46 AM
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Old 02-23-14, 03:11 AM
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How do you make the transition if you have been using training wheels?
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 02-23-14, 03:40 AM
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Training wheels worked very well for me.

My father put them on my first 2-wheeler, and he offset them with the idea in mind that I would balance without either one touching the ground, but if I tipped slightly to one side or the other, the training wheel would "catch" me.

I hated that! I refused to ride the bicycle. I begged him to set them up so that they both touched the ground.

So finally he agreed and set them up properly, and off I went with all 4 wheels on the ground (2 bicycle wheels, 2 training wheels), as happy as can be.

One day, he removed the training wheels, and off I went without them. I don't remember that part at all except that it wasn't a big deal. And I've been cycling ever since.
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Old 02-23-14, 03:44 AM
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my buddy's kid started on one of these strider bikes, and he transitioned really quickly into a bike with pedals. i think this is the best way to go for early training.

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Old 02-23-14, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kelsodeez View Post
my buddy's kid started on one of these strider bikes, and he transitioned really quickly into a bike with pedals. i think this is the best way to go for early training.

I've got 4 grand kids and one great grandson in the 3-4 age range. We're building a collection of those things for them to learn on.

When my wife was 30 and 7 months pregnant I got her an English 3-speed, lowered the seat, and she taught herself to ride in an afternoon.
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Old 02-23-14, 07:15 AM
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Throw the training wheels away. They are absolutely useless in teaching a child to ride a bike. They instill bad habits that will have to be unlearned once the training wheels come off. I'm all for starting even toddlers on strider bikes and older kids and adults on a bike with the seat somewhat lower than normal. Some people remove the pedals but I don't think that it is absolutely necessary.

My grandson learned to ride a bike later than most kids. I taught him to ride in a single afternoon by having him coast down a gentle hill in my back yard with the seat low enough that he could easily rest the balls of both feet on the ground. Within an hour he was coasting with his feet up and getting a fair idea of directional control and braking. I put the pedals back on and we spent another hour or so getting that coordination down. After a break, we went to a large empty parking lot behind the school and he was able to ride without assistance. He practiced turning and braking using markings on the pavement as references. By the time his legs gave out, he was riding fairly well.
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Old 02-23-14, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
My own childhood experience, and watching my niece learn to ride a bike, tell me that training wheels actually slow the process down. Bikes are essentially a pair of gyroscopes, and training wheels just confound that innate realization.
Very true. Sometime when you have a wheel off the bike, hold it by the axle and give it a good hard spin. Then tilt the wheel back and forth and you will feel just how much the wheel fights changing vertical planes.
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Old 02-23-14, 08:37 AM
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I don't ever remember using them, but they worked to get my son riding. When it was time we took them off and turned his bike into a balance/strider bike (removed crank) and had it back on and riding within 2 hours or so. I don't think they're the worst things ever.
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Old 02-23-14, 09:50 AM
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I learned to ride without them by coasting down a hill and crashing into the Privet hedge

Both of my children learned to ride without them, I took the pedals, chain and crank off the smallest bike we had and used it as a push bike, my daughter caught on quickly, my son had to graduate to a larger push bike, but eventually got the hang of it. They are both in their late 20's now and still ride.

The Dutch and Danes use the push bikes, I have seen children as young as 3 riding a regular bike unsupervised, they learn quick!

Aaron
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Old 02-23-14, 10:59 AM
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From what I've been told, I had training wheels on my bike for a whole week, before I bugged my parents to take them off. They say I wiped out twice on 2 wheels, all while attempting to brake apparently. I honestly have no recollection of any of that though.

You have to learn how to crawl before you can walk, so consider training wheels a tool to allow you crawl to boost your confidence to want to proceed to riding a 2-wheeler.
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Old 02-23-14, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceHankins View Post
I don't ever remember using them, but they worked to get my son riding. When it was time we took them off and turned his bike into a balance/strider bike (removed crank) and had it back on and riding within 2 hours or so. I don't think they're the worst things ever.
Yes, I agree they aren't the worse thing ever. And I had them as a kid and yet learned how to ride.

I do think they are counter productive and slow down learning to ride a bike. Learning how to balance is the biggest piece of the puzzle and training wheels do nothing to help here at all.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:28 AM
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IMO they're an "instrument of the devil" and I wouldn't use them. I didn't use them on 6 of my kids and they're all active riders- The second youngest is riding unassisted at 4 years old. The 2 y.o. is on a balance bike and she'll probably be riding a pedal bike this summer.
All without training wheels.

Balance is the skill kids need to learn- pedaling comes naturally.

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Old 02-24-14, 12:23 PM
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Training wheels make it possible for kids - or adults - to ride a bike without knowing how to ride a bike.
Wish we had known about balance bikes when my kids were learning to ride 20+ years ago.
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Old 02-24-14, 01:27 PM
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IMHO, the term "training wheels" is an oxymoron. It's much better to take the pedals off, put the seat down, and walk it around like a hobby horse. That, at least, teaches the necessary balance.
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Old 02-24-14, 01:59 PM
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I had training wheels. Both my kids had training wheels. It's a way to get started. They don't stay on long. What it enabled my daughter to do was go on a family bike ride before she was able to balance on her own. It built her confidence and helped her get used to everything about cycling. I don't remember my son on them as long. I think once he was riding there was a push to go on family rides even though our daughter wasn't ready. So the training wheels facilitated that. I would not say they were necessary but depending on your family they might come in handy for a little while.
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Old 02-24-14, 02:15 PM
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Training wheels are terrible. My oldest went Strider bike ---> pedal bike in 10 seconds at age 4 and it was super fun for me and him.

The neighbour kid is no less coordinated, same age, probably smarter* and is struggling with training wheels.

* Not probably. Definitely. Well, the parents are smarter, (except for maybe the training wheels thing.)
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